Neuron presents evidence that subliminal learning occurs in humans. The researchers observed how people perceived differences in new, unfamiliar symbols.
The researchers collected scans of the brain, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, to investigate the specific brain circuitry that is linked to subliminal instrumental conditioning. “The ventral striatum responded to subliminal cues and to visible outcomes in a manner that closely approximates our computational algorithm, expressing reward expected values and prediction errors,” says Dr. [Mathias] Pessiglione [U. College, London]. “We conclude that, even without conscious processing of contextual cues, our brain can learn their reward value and use them to provide a bias on decision making.”
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